Answer: Cut flowers last longest in a cool location out of direct sun and away from drafts. The flowers should be cut when the buds are beginning to open for longest lasting results.
Carry a container of cool water right out to the garden, and plunge the stems into the water immediately after cutting. Be sure to use a sharp tool when cutting to avoid crushing the stem, and cut at an angle to increase the surface area from which the stem can take up water. When you bring the flowers indoors, submerge the stem ends in a tub of water and trim them again, then immediately transfer to a vase, also filled with water. (You want to keep the cut ends immersed at all times.)
After two or three days, trim the bottom inch off the stems, again keeping the end submerged as much as possible. Some people find that using a floral preservative helps; others find they get the same results with plain water.
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